Mr. Fairfax1 who waits on you wishes to know whether the Treasury Dept. is [in] want of bills on London. He will himself explain an offer he will in that case make. In the absence of Mr. Gallatin,2 I have taken the liberty of referring him to you for information. Yrs very respectfully
RC (Nc-Ar: Steele Papers). Undated. Conjectural date supplied here on the basis of circumstances described in n. 2.
1. His Republican leanings and prior correspondence with JM make it probable that this was Ferdinand Fairfax (see PJM-SS description begins Robert J. Brugger et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Secretary of State Series (3 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1986—). description ends , 1:308–9 and n. 3).
2. Steele’s departure on 5 Aug. and his subsequent resignation places the date of this letter sometime during Gallatin’s absence from Washington between 17 July and 1 Aug. 1802 (Gallatin to Jonathan Burrall, 17 July 1802, and Gallatin to Jefferson, 9 Aug. 1802 [DLC: Gallatin Papers]; Steele to Oliver Wolcott, 5 Aug. 1802, Wagstaff, Papers of John Steele, 1:307).